What is the What

What is the What Imagery

Michael dropping the phone book on Valentino's head

This image pinpoints exactly how Michael, as well as the rest of America, sees Valentino: as a burden that should be silenced. Michael is even willing to use violent measures to make it easier to ignore the beaten and bound man on the floor.


During his journey, Valentino had expected Ethiopia to be a land of plenty with shelter and food and medical facilities. He expected it to be a safe haven from the horrors in Sudan. Yet when he arrived in Ethiopia and saw barren land with dead bodies, it was a harsh reminder that his life was not going to be easier anytime soon. It signified that he would still toil and live in squander in order to survive.

SPLA propaganda

When the SPLA comes to the Pinyudo refugee camp, they try using a more gentle approach in order to find willing volunteers to join the army. There was singing and dancing, and the people were coming together under a spirit of nationalism and unity. Because military leaders to hide the atrocities of war often use this tactic, it is jarring to see these women and children be enamored with the army they were just fleeing.

The lions eating the boys

Valentino and the other boys leaving Kakuma believe that they are trying to only get away from the war, yet their journey is more dangerous than they could have imagined. During the first few days, a few boys are swiftly taken by a lion pouncing in and out of the group. The boys are helpless to stop it, just as they are helpless in trying to stay away from the war.